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Jiri Trnka, Puppet Master
Short Films - Program Two

  • Passion (Vasen)

    Directed by Jiri Trnka.
    Czechoslovakia, 1962, DCP, color, 9 min.
    No dialogue.

A boy’s need for speed causes problems throughout his life in this triumph of modernist design, which blends puppet, stop-motion, collage, and cutout animation with a gothic humor and Pop Art–like visual design.

  • Cybernetic Grandma (Kyberneticka babicka)

    Directed by Jiri Trnka.
    Czechoslovakia, 1962, DCP, color, 28 min.
    Czech with English subtitles.

Trnka took a turn into Space Age sci-fi surrealism with this dark, dystopian satire on automatization in which a child traverses a forbidding technological wasteland to meet (surprise!) her uncanny new robotic grandmother.

  • Archangel Gabriel and Mistress Goose (Archandel Gabriel a pani Husa)

    Directed by Jiri Trnka.
    Czechoslovakia, 1964, DCP, color, 29 min.
    No dialogue.

Adapted from a story in Boccaccio's Decameron, this irreverent, medieval-set lampoon of religious hypocrisy mixes Christian iconography with bawdy black humor to tell the tale of a lusty Venetian monk who assumes the guise of the angel Gabriel to seduce a married woman.

  • The Hand (Ruka)

    Directed by Jiri Trnka.
    Czechoslovakia, 1965, DCP, color, 18 min.
    No dialogue.

Trnka’s final work is a powerful, deeply personal allegory about the plight of the artist toiling under the restrictions of a totalitarian government. The story of a simple sculptor who is menaced by a giant, disembodied hand that forces him to bend to its will, it was banned by the Communist censors for two decades—but has since taken its place as an acknowledged masterpiece of animation.

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